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Thursday, May 6, 2010
Mystery History -- Solved
11:41 A.M. UPDATE: That Bellis is a sneaky one! I didn't realize until just now that she posted an 11:34 p.m. guess last night: "I like the idea of Jack Parsons, but I think this is the Dutch chemist Arie Haagen-Smit (not to be confused with Haagen-Dazs) in his lab at Caltech." So she wins the fabulous prize! ===================================================
I scooped everybody this week, although Bellis posted her guess from a coincidental location!
In the photo above, Caltech Professor Arie Haagen-Smit is in a campus laboratory demonstrating how smog is formed by photochemical reactions of unburned hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and ozone.
Born in Utrecht in the Netherlands, this “father of air pollution control” is best known for finding a direct link between automobiles in Southern California and the heavy smog that plagued the region for decades.
Ironically, Dr. Haagen-Smit was a heavy smoker. He died of lung cancer in 1977 at the age of 76.
There’s a nice little tribute to him here by a Caltech biology professor who worked closely with him.